Myanmar police arrest an actor after two people were killed in protests
© Reuters. Police and soldiers are seen protests against the military coup in Mandalay
(Reuters) – Myanmar police arrested a famous actor wanted for supporting the opposition to a February 1 coup, his wife said on Sunday, hours after two people were killed when police and soldiers fired Disperse protests in the second city of Mandalay.
The violence in Mandalay on Saturday was the bloodiest day in more than two weeks of demonstrations in cities across Myanmar demanding an end to military rule and the release of elected leader Aung San Suu Kyi and others from custody.
The demonstrations and a civil disobedience campaign of strikes and disruptions show no sign that opponents of the military who are skeptical of an army promise to give the victor a new election and power of hands are slacking off.
Actor Lu Min was one of six celebrities the Army said on Wednesday that they were looking for an anti-incitement law to encourage officials to join the protest. The charges can result in a two-year prison term.
Lu Min has participated in several protests in Yangon.
His wife, Khin Sabai Oo, said in a video posted on his Facebook page (NASDAQ 🙂 that the police came to her home in Yangon and took him away.
“They forced the door open and took him away and didn’t tell me where to take him. I couldn’t stop them. They didn’t tell me.”
Military spokesman Zaw Min Tun, who is also the spokesman for the new Military Council, has failed to respond to repeated attempts by Reuters to contact him by phone for comment.
An activist group, the Assistance Association for Political Prisoners, said on Saturday that 569 people were arrested, charged or convicted in connection with the coup.
In another incident in Yangon on Saturday night, a night guard was shot dead. Radio Free Asia’s Burmese service said police shot him but it was not clear why.
The communities have put up more guards for fear of being swept away by the security forces.
The protests, which lasted more than two weeks, had been largely peaceful, in contrast to earlier opposition episodes during half a century of direct military rule that ended in 2011.
Ethnic minorities, poets, rappers and transport workers marched in various locations on Saturday, but tensions quickly escalated in Mandalay, where police and soldiers faced striking shipyard workers.
Some of the protesters fired catapults at the police as they played cat and mouse through streets by the river. Police responded with tear gas and gunfire, and witnesses said they found the cartridges containing firearms and rubber bullets on the ground.
Two people were shot dead and 20 injured, said Ko Aung, a leader of the Parahita Darhi volunteer rescue service.
The police were not available to comment.
A young protester, Mya Thwate Thwate Khaing, died Friday after being shot in the head last week when police dispersed a crowd in the capital, Naypyitaw, the first death among anti-coup protesters.
The army says a police officer died as a result of injuries during a protest.
State Department spokesman Ned Price said the United States was “deeply concerned” at reports that security forces shot protesters and continued to arrest and harass protesters and others.
“We stand with the people of Burma,” Price wrote on Twitter. Myanmar is also known as Burma.
The UK said it would consider further action against those involved in violence against protesters, and the French Foreign Ministry described the violence as “unacceptable”.
“The shooting of peaceful protesters in Myanmar is more than pale,” said British Foreign Minister Dominic Raab on Twitter. “Together with our international partners, we will consider further measures against those who destroy democracy and stifle dissent.”
The United States, Britain, Canada and New Zealand have announced limited sanctions since the coup, with an emphasis on military leaders.
The state television evening newscast, MRTV, made no mention of the protests or victims.
The army took power back after alleging fraud in the November 8 elections that the National League for Democracy swept from Suu Kyi and arrested them and others. The election commission had dismissed the fraud complaints.
Even so, the army says its action is constitutional and supported by a majority of the population. The military has accused protesters of inciting violence.
Suu Kyi is charged with violating a natural disaster management law and illegally importing six walkie-talkie radios. Your next court date is March 1st.